Chamber welcomes new ED, continues to promote local programs

By Mike Baker

The Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is hoping for a much better year in 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought a continuous flow of problems to the doors of the local business community in 2020, the chamber says its members are pushing forward defiantly in the face of adversity and are planning for a recovery as the new year progresses.

In a bid to help their businesses, the chamber is continuing to promote six new initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs from across Haliburton County.

The Chamber Partnership Initiative, launched in November, ensures that age subsidy funding and student placements are seamless and easy for local businesses to access, aiding youth development and integration across the Highlands and providing chamber members with much-needed subsidies during this difficult time.

Rolled out in October, the BuyCloseBy Season program raises awareness on the importance of shopping locally.

A new online training platform, also rolled out in October, provides members with access to affordable, modern training for their employees and is centred on safe, respectful workplaces, including WHMIS, diversity and inclusion training.

Another new initiative is Barter Pay, a program that allows local businesses to trade their goods and services for other things they may want or need. With over 4,000 firms across Canada tapped into this initiative, the chamber says it is a “great program that will enable you to continue to invest in your business even when cash flow is uncertain.”

There will be a new woman at the wheel of the local chamber in 2021, as Amanda Conn replaces the departing Jennifer Locke.

“The board is excited to work with Amanda, and we are confident that the chamber is in good hands,” said Andrea Strano, chamber president. “Under Amanda’s guidance, the chamber will be well positioned to thrive and continue to support our members during these challenging times, for years to come.”

Check out next week’s edition of the for more on Amanda and her plans for the Highlands Chamber of Commerce.